When a friend posted this picture on her timeline today, it reminded me of the Japanese art of Kintsugi. It is the art to repair broken pottery with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver or platinum (a method similar to the maki-e technique) (cfr. more on Wikipedia).
“The vicissitudes of existence over time, to which all humans are susceptible, could not be clearer than in the breaks, the knocks, and the shattering to which ceramic ware too is subject. This poignancy or aesthetic of existence has been known in Japan as mono no aware, a compassionate sensitivity, or perhaps identiﬁcation with, [things] outside oneself.” Christy Bartlett, Flickwerk The Aesthetics of Mended Japanese Ceramics (cfr. mono no aware “the pathos of things”).
I used this image in a talk about Resilience a while ago and I think it is very powerful because it teaches the most important strategy to overcome hardship: the positive outlook, the optimism that should never diminish. The faith in the fact that in every difficult situation we can gain a positive perspective. We may need help with this, but there always is a way to make it become even more beautiful and precious than before.
We can’t change things from happening, we can only change the way we respond and deal with them.
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one the most responsive to change” (Charles Darwin)